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Chateau d’Yquem, the Premier Cru Superieur of Sauterne

July 15, 2014 • Wines & Spirits

Château d’Yquem wines have an excellent reputation amongst wine growing circles and oenology. In 1996, the LVMH group bought a majority of shares. Managed by Pierre Lurton, the estate now benefits from LVMH’s large network which has greatly participated in the wine’s fame.

 

The Chateau d’Yquem, the only sauternes classified superior first growth

The reputation of the sauternes produced by the Chateau d’Yquem is nearly legendary. Nowadays considered as one of the best white wines of the world, the Chateau d’Yquem was, until the beginning of the 19th century, very sweet.

In 1855, after much care and love given to the vineyard, the sauterne was officially classified as a superior first growth, according to the Bordeaux Wine Official classification of 1855.

This prestigious title demonstrates the quality and exceptional characteristics of this wine. Wine enthusiasts and French authors (Mauriac, Frédéric Dard…) appeared to agree with the wine’s since many have referred to its fiery yellow colour.

 

 

A brilliant wine born from a very demanding process

The production of this vintage is very precise. The 100 hectares (250 acres) of vineyards are planted with 80% Semillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. Only fully botrytized fruit are picked. Also called the noble rot, this fungus is what gives this white wine its exceptional taste.

After being pressed, the grapes are then left in oak barrels to mature for up to three years. On average 65 000 bottles are produced every year.

The Chateau d’Yquem is very complex and hard to describe. What makes this white wine exceptional is the fruity taste of apricots, mandarin and according to some, of tropical fruit. Then comes the oak and vanilla. In some older vintages, one could even taste dried fruit, spices and even flowers.

Other than taste, this wine also has a beautiful golden robe which distinguishes it from the rest, making this nectar both attractive to the eye and divine to the taste.

 

A wine case of 6 bottles of the latest Chateau d’Yquem, the 2007, costs over 3 000 euros.

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